Neighbour disputes are very common and there is a wide range of support available to help you to deal with them.
All neighbour problems are different and the solution to resolving the dispute depends on a wide range of circumstances.
You should first try to discuss your complaint with your neighbour. This could be done in writing if you think it would keep things calmer.
Failing that, you could try using a mediator or contacting the landlord if the neighbour is a tenant and will not co-operate with you. The local environmental health or planning department could also help, depending on the nature of the dispute.
If your neighbour has committed a crime, for example a breach of the peace, racial or sexual harassment or assault, then contact the police.
Some of the more common neighbour disputes include:
By far the most common cause of tension between neighbours. Persistent noise can be classed as noise pollution and you can expect support from your local environmental health department.
Who looks after shared facilities, such as garden areas in flats, can be the cause of arguments. Check the deeds if you own the property as it should be covered there.
Boundaries, fences and walls
There may be disagreements over where a boundary lies or who is responsible for repairs or maintenance.
Trees and hedges blocking light
You do not have a legal right to cut down a tree and it can be expensive to take the matter to court. You may be able to cut over hanging braches back to your boundary, but no further. In this case, you should offer the branches back to your neighbour and not simply toss them over the fence. With hedges, you can trim them back, but you can’t reduce the height. It is important to bear in mind that some trees and hedgerows are protected and this should be first checked with your local authority, even if your neighbour consents to you pruning them back.
Residents don’t automatically have a right to park outside their property, unless the local authority has installed designated parking areas. That said, people do have the right to access their drive and this can be enforced by the police or local authority who have wide powers to remove vehicles that are causing an obstruction or are illegally parked.
How we can help
Where all else has failed, we are able to take action to help you. Sometimes a letter from a solicitor is sufficient to make a neighbour realise that their actions are not acceptable and you are serious about taking further action.
We can also help where there is a disagreement about responsibilities and can take court action where appropriate.
If you would like more information, or just want a confidential chat about your options, contact our friendly team today.